Brace yourself, Gen Z is coming! : A qualitative study about Swedish Generation Z’s leadership preferences in entry-level jobs.

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Sammanfattning: Background: In recent years, a new generation has rapidly entered the workforce and when this happens it is assumed that some level of disruption will come along. Since Generation Z have only been in the workforce for short amount of time, there is a lack of crucial research regarding their perceived experiences. Because different generations are assumed to have different values, a prominent challenge for organizations is how to correctly lead them. In other words, leadership preferences may differ when a new generation comes into play. Problem: As of today, there is a substantial knowledge gap regarding Generation Z preferred leadership styles among entry-level jobs. This knowledge gap can cause devastating effects for future organizations. Generation Z is a force to be reckoned with and shall soon become a prevailing member of the labor market in the near future. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the Swedish Generation Z preferred leadership styles, based on lived experiences in an entry-level job and to what extent they prefer transformational, transactional or laissez-faire leadership. The findings are expected to contribute to existing and new theoretical insights regarding Gen Z leadership preferences. Method: The research was conducted through seven qualitative semi-structured, open-ended interviews, which were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). Results: The findings described Generation Z ideal leader based on their thoughts and lived experiences. Gen Z prefers a leader that displays individual consideration, inspires followers and acts as a role model. These characteristics traits bare close resemblance of a transformational leader compared to transactional or laissez-fair leader. Acknowledging these results could contribute to a competitive advantage for organizations during their recruitment and development phase of Gen Z employees. 

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